Well, my application to Newlife International School of Midwifery is complete and I was ready to email it in, when I realized that I needed to include a recent picture of myself. When I went to find one I found out that no one has taken any recent pictures of me by myself! I have tons of pictures of me with the kids doing all kinds of goofy things even some nice ones of me and the kids, and me and Steve, but not one of just me, unless you count a side view of me rock climbing. Not exactly a good picture to send in with an application form. So needless to say I now have to wait until Steve comes home and takes a picture of me, which I hopefully will like, and then I can send in my application. I also have to mail in the application fee and a copy of my high school and college diplomas and transcripts which is turning out to be much more complicated than I thought. I realize it's been a long time since high school, but it's kind of crazy; I first had to request my Alberta Education ID number which was fairly easy to get, then I did an online request to have my transcripts mailed to me, however the address that they have on file for me and the one which they would mail the transcript to is one from 14 years ago, not quite current. So I called them and found out that I needed to fill in a request for change of address form and fax it into them which I did with both my maiden and married name on it, and when I phoned them today to see if I could go ahead with the transcript request, I found out that I now need to fax them a copy of my marriage certificate because somehow they have two different student ID numbers for me, one under Sutton and one under Oishi. So although I put both last names on the form and although my high school transcripts are under my maiden name and not my married name, they cannot make the changes without proof that I was Kerri Sutton and am now Kerri Oishi! AHHHHHHH!!! Needless to say, I am hoping that once I fax this in today, I will be able to request my high school transcript and mail the rest of the paperwork to them early next week. Then I will have to wait until my references email in their forms and the director will have to look over my application and proceed with an interview. So it's a lot of hurry up and wait, which seems to be what I have been doing over the last little while anyway. But at least after this, my part will be done and it will be out of my hands.
For those of you who are going "midwifery school, huh"? let me back up a little. The medical field has always been a passion of mine although I did move it to the back burner and wondered if it would go away, but it didn't. Over the last couple of years the desire to be in the medical field has come back stronger and I have been trying to figure out what that looked like for me. In about December of last year I began to think about midwifery, partly because I was looking into becoming a birth doula, which I did in April, and I found many different schools. Canada has two midwifery programs in Ontario, through McMaster and Ryerson University, Quebec has one through Laval and BC has a new program through UBC. I looked at all of these programs and at some offered in the US and none of them really grabbed me. Then in January I came across the school at which I am applying, Newlife International School of Midwifery, and it simply grabbed my heart. It is a Christian run school which offers an Associate Degree of Science in Midwifery through a two and a half year program. The degree is actually awarded through the States and at the end I will be able to write my North American Registry of Midwives exam, enabling me to work as a midwife. After nine months of praying about it and many conversations around midiwfery, we have decided that I should go ahead and pursue this desire to become a midwife. We are aware that God could close this door at any time, however we feel that we should walk this path until God says otherwise.
With the calling that Steve and I feel to work overseas in a developing country, this schooling would come in very handy. So much of the world has a ridiculously high maternal mortality rate, something that thankfully here in Canada we don't have to worry about. According to the World Health Organization "The number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased by 34% from an estimated 546 000 in 1990 to 358 000 in 2008". However, "pregnant women still die from four major causes: severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortion. Every day, about 1000 women died due to these complications in 2008. Out of the 1000, 570 lived in sub-Saharan Africa, 300 in South Asia and five in high-income countries. The risk of a woman in a developing country dying from a pregnancy-related cause during her lifetime is about 36 times higher compared to a woman living in a developed country". In Afghanistan the lifetime risk of maternal death according to 2008 statistics is 1 in 11; Chad is 1 in 14; Niger is 1 in 16 and Nigeria is 1 in 23. Now compare that to Canada's rate of maternal mortality which is 1 in 5600 or the United States which is 1 in 2100. Big difference in numbers.
We would definitely appreciate any prayers as we walk this new journey that God is setting forth before us and we will keep you updated as things move along.